BlackBerry too small for Kantar to count

After sitting at around 1 percent or less of marketshare in many major markets around the world, the Kantar Worldpanel has decided to stop counting BlackBerry as a separate line item, and lump it into the Others category.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The marketshare of BlackBerry has reduced to such a point that Kantar has stopped reporting explicitly on the Canadian handset maker. In the latest edition of its Worldpanel smartphone OS marketshare survey, the former enterprise mobility giant is lumped into the Others category with bedfellows such as Symbian, Firefox OS, and Windows Mobile.

As of the survey's May 2014 installment, the last one to call out BlackBerry's marketshare, the best territory for the company formally known as RIM was Italy, where it could claim 1.4 percent of the market, followed by the US with 1.3 percent, and the UK with 1.1 percent making it the only other place worldwide surveyed where its marketshare was above the 1 percent mark.

According to Kantar, BlackBerry was previously able to command sizable marketshare in many countries, with it holding 19 percent of the UK market, and 8.5 percent of American handsets in October 2011. The Spanish fall of BlackBerry was the greatest, after holding almost 24 percent of the Spanish market in October 2011, by March 2013, it held a mere 0.2 percent, and continued to hover between 0.3 and 0.0 percent from September 2013 until discontinued in the report.

The Canadian company, which is in the process of remedying its poor financial situation, is pinning its hopes on the September launch of its Passport phablet, a device that BlackBerry repeatedly insists will be great for using speadsheets with.

Elsewhere in this month's survey, Android continued its domination of smartphones, with the Google-backed mobile operating system claiming 74 percent across Germany, UK, France, Spain, and Italy; 68 percent in Australia; and 62 percent in the US. In the vast majority of locations, Android's share was up in the same time last year, with the US seeing a 10.5 percentage point increase in Android, with iOS down 11 percentage points to 31.5 percent — Kantar said the switch was driven largely by Samsung marketing and strong in store presence, as the Samsung Galaxy S5 drew level with the iPhone 5S in the best selling handset stakes.

In China, where Android has 84.3 percent of the market, local manufacturer Xiaomi has captured 27 percent of the market, with Samsung following on 21 percent.

"Significant numbers of existing smartphone users are looking to switch to Xiaomi – some 8 percent of Apple customers, 12 percent of Samsung customers and 13 percent of Nokia customers are all actively planning to switch to Xiaomi when they upgrade," said Kantar strategic insight director, Dominic Sunnebo.

"The balance of power in the Chinese mobile sector can change incredibly quickly and the current momentum behind Xiaomi off the back of its latest product announcement, the Xiaomi Mi4, shows that the company’s success isn't expected to slow down any time soon."

The increase in smartphone competition in China has been pinpointed by Samsung as one reason for an almost 24 percent fall in profit for the second quarter of 2014. As a result of this decrease, executives at Samsung Electronics' mobile division returned 25 percent of their recent bonuses.

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